It’s a sport similar to traditional windsurfing, but it’s done on land rather than water, which is called “terrasailing” or “land windsurfing” or “dirt windsurfing.” Four-wheeled boards, like mountain boards or skateboards, are commonly used in tandem with a mast and sail to propel the board over land.
Probably the first person to bring windsurfing to solid ground was the French aristocrat and avid sailor Arnaud de Rosnay.
Adapting his windsurfing sail into a skateboard, de Rosnay crossed the Sahara Desert in 12 days in 1979 after navigating the Bering Strait.
When Gavin Le Sueur land windsurfed across South Australia’s Nullarbor Plain in 1985, it was the first time anyone had attempted such a feat.
During the 1990s and early 2000s, land windsurfing, or street windsurfing, dirt windsurfing, and wind skateboarding, saw a surge in popularity.
Windsurfing on land has dwindled in popularity in recent years, but for those who do it, it can be an exhilarating experience.
What do you need?
In order to get started windsurfing on asphalt, tarmac, sand, or even grass, what equipment do you need?
- A windsurfing sail, mast, boom, and extension, as well as a mast base and mast extension;
- A land windsurfing board that is outfitted with the appropriate truck kits, pneumatic tires, grip tape designed in the style of skateboard grip tape, and velcro bindings that can be worn on either foot;
- A helmet;
- Pads for the knees and elbows;
If you already own a complete windsurfing kit, all you need to do is purchase a land windsurfing board or install a mast base in the deck of a longboard skateboard in order to get started with land windsurfing.
Windsurfers who are unable to train on days when the ocean is rough may find that street windsurfing is an effective alternative. They don’t have to worry about the water being too cold and can ride the waves even when there is a strong wind.
Speed of the Wind
But what kind of wind is best for windsurfing on dirt? Do we need the same wind speed to sail across grassy fields or to ride a bike on asphalt?
- Asphalt, tarmac, and concrete: 4 to 8 knots
- Sand or dirt that is hard: 8 to12 knots
- Grass: 13 to 17 knots
Remember that when you are overpowered, your chances of getting hurt and hurting someone else go up a lot. It’s always more dangerous to fall on water than on the ground.
Technically, land windsurfing is the same as traditional windsurfing. You can ride upwind or downwind, steer and turn, tack, and jibe.
Large off-road wheels may make it harder to turn quickly and easily than a windsurf board’s rails and fin.
Terra sailing can be fun, but you should also learn how to stop in case you get going too fast.
You can slow down in two ways: turn your sail to the neutral position to take away its power, or drag your back foot flat on the ground to act as a brake.
Land sailing is fun, but make sure you don’t get too close to people walking or riding bikes.
Variation of Land Windsurfing
Land sailing, also called sand yachting, land yachting, or dirtboating, is moving across land in a vehicle with wheels that is powered by the wind and a sail.
The word comes from the idea that it is like sailing on water. Land sailing was used in the past as a way to get around or for fun. Since the 1950s, it has changed into a sport that is mostly about racing.
Sail wagons, sand yachts, and land yachts are all names for boats that are used to sail. Most of the time, they have three wheels, but sometimes they have four. They work a lot like sailboats, but you can sit or lie down and steer them with pedals or hand levers. Land sailing works best in flat, windy places, and races are often held on beaches, airfields, and dry lake beds in desert areas. Land sailors of today, who are usually called “pilots,” can go three to four times faster than the wind. In a land sailing race, a gust of wind is thought to be more helpful than a favorable windshift. Ice yachting is a similar sport that is played on frozen lakes and rivers. Another type is the Whike, which is a combination of land sailing and bicycling. It can be used in everyday traffic because it doesn’t have to depend on the wind all the time.
Land windsurfing and land sailing are both done on the same kinds of terrain and use the wind to move. But in land windsurfing, the person stands on a four-wheeled board instead of sitting in a light metal fuselage like in land sailing.
Who is able to participate in land windsurfing?
Land windsurfing is an exhilarating sport that is simple to pick up, loads of fun to experiment with as a novice, and loads of fun for both adults and children (over a certain age) to participate in. Because of this variable speed, and depending on the course, the weather, and the tide (if practiced on a beach), then it can sometimes be difficult for younger children to participate due to the fact that it is accessible.
However, there are many locations known for wind speeds that are slower than average and on surfaces such as short grass where it is safer for children to try out the sport on their own.
There are no major competitions for land windsurfing that are known to take place either internationally or domestically. The majority of people who participate in it do so for fun, as part of a community of people who enjoy land windsurfing. As they launch themselves off a ramp, experts are frequently able to perform tricks such as twists and turns. Land windsurfing is a sport that can be enjoyed throughout the year because it does not depend on the weather or the seasons. Traditional windsurfers have been known to engage in this form of practice during the winter months as a replacement for their usual routine.